Monday, August 24, 2009
Yep, it's about time to bring back the Weekend Reviews every Monday. Let's get started. I could probably have mentioned Michael Cuddyer's two homers in one inning as being awesome, and it was, but I'm not going to.
WHO WAS AWESOME
1. Matt Hasselbeck. Yes, it's preseason football so really gives a crap, but you can still pay attention to a few things; one of which is that Hasselbeck is poised for a big year. He's coming off a year when he was hurt most of the season, and he sucked even when he did play, putting up a career worst 2-to-1 INT to TD ratio, so he's sort of been forgotten, but he could easily return to his 2007 form. Remember, not only was Hasselbeck hurt last year, but his his top two recievers, Deion Branch and Nate Burleson, were both hurt all year. This year, not only are those two back, but he now has a bona fide #1 in T.J. Houshmanzilly. And there is still no running game to speak off, so they're going to have to chuck it. It's going to be a good year.
2. Tavaris Jackson. If you read the live blog I did of the great Brett Favre's first Viking appearance, you know that I switched over to the Twins game as soon as the world's biggest attention queen left the game. I wish I wouldn't have, because according to the box score and Theory, T-Jax put on a straight up clinic. The numbers are gaudy, 12-15 for 202 yards and 2 touchdowns, and the reviews are glowing. Personally, I hope this gets somebody interested enough to give the Vikes a fifth round pick for him. No chance this guy becomes anything more than a poor man's Vince Young - and that is poor indeed, no matter what Bogart says.
3. John Smoltz. I don't know if it was the motivation that comes from getting cut, or facing a team in the Padres who really can't hit, but Smoltzy reached back in time and tossed a gem on Sunday in his debut with the Cardinals. Well, gem is probalby a bit strong, considering he only threw five innings, but giving up no runs and three hits while striking out 9 in those five innings is impressive, particularly coming from a guy who got destroyed when he was tossing for the Red Sox. The Cards have the hitting to make a run (and Pujols hit #40 yesterday), and if Smotlz can solidify an already very good pitching staff they will leap the Dodgers as the NL favorite.
4. Jay Cutler. I don't like to say nice things about other people in the NFC North, or about drunks because drinking is wrong and against God's word, but Cutler suddenly makes the division seem extra interesting. He played in just three series Saturday night, and managed to direct that shitty Bears offense to scores in all three - 2 TDs and a field goal. He did Cutler-like things, going just 8 for 13, but racking up 121 yards and a TD in the team's 17-3 win over the Giants - a pretty good defense. If Cutler gets that offense in gear, we are looking at a three horse race in the division.
5. Charlie Haeger. You're wondering who this is, and so I'll tell you. He's a knuckleballer for the Dodgers, and I love knuckleballers who aren't named Dickey, so this is even more exciting. On Saturday, Heager pitched a honey of a game against the Cubs going seven innings and giving up just three hits while striking out seven. That makes two starts for Haeger this year since being called up, and he's gone seven in each and has tallied an ERA of 1.93 and a WHIP of 0.86. Could this be the dominant knuckle ball pitcher American has been waiting for all this years? Yes, yes I think it could. And he's working with Charlie Hough, which can only help.
1. Mark Buehrle. Remember when Buehrle set a record for most consecutive batters faced without allowing a runner, including his perfect game? Well things have sort of gone all to hell since then. After getting racked for five runs and 11 hits in 5 1/3 innings against the Orioles on Sunday, he's now gone 0-4 with an ERA over six since that perfect game. I don't really care, because he's half a fag and the White Sox are nothing but a collection of pedophiles and rapists, but I thought I'd point out that noted butt pirate Mark Buehrle sucked this weekend.
2. Arizona Diamondbacks. They beat the Astros on Sunday, so that takes a little bit of sting out of this, but prior to yesterday they had lost seven straight. They've been awful all season, and my preseason pick to win the NL pennant is currently sitting at fifteen games below .500, 19 games out of first in the division, and 15.5 out of the Wild Card. How could this happen you ask? Brandon Webb blowing out his shoulder after one start didn't help, but overall the starting pitching has been good, and the offense has been ok. The bullpen, however, has been a nightmare, putting up the fifth worse bullpen ERA in all of baseball. Scott Shoenweiss, who is fifth on the team in games pitched, is sporting an ERA over 8. Dan Haren is still awesome though.
3. Matthew Stafford. I already hit on an NFC North QB, so why not another one? The difference is that this one sucks. Yeah, yeah, he's a rookie and everything so we shouldn't expect him to be a star right away, but 5-13, 34 yards, and a pick on his very first attempt isn't exactly reassuring, especially when Culpepper played well and Drew Stanton threw a touchdown pass. He wasn't exactly rosey his first time out either, completing half his passes and going for 1 touch and 1 interception. Obviously as a rookie it's not quite time to give up on him or anything, but I'd say it's looking more like Culpepper will be the starter, and I'd guess for the entire season. At least one of the teams in the division will suck.
4. Cowboys Stadium. I mentioned here before that when I drove passed Cowboys Stadium it looked like a metal garbage dumpster, and it sounds like Jerry Jones tried to spruce the place up by putting a giant, 160 foot HD TV screen above the field. There's just one small problem: it's getting in the way. Titans' punter A.J. Trapasso hit the video screen with a punt in the Titans/Cowboys game this weekend, and the Titans actual punter, veteran Craig Hentrich, said that he and Trapasso both hit it several time in warm ups, and that any punt with a five second hang time is going to hit the screen. Jerry Jones response, "You don't gotta move it. The rule is very clear, you just kick it over." So it sounds like Jones screwed up by putting it to low, and now that it's going to be a major issue, his response is to ignore it and make teams take a do-over whenever it happens. This whole story is like a metaphor for the Jerry Jones era.
5. Harrison Barnes. I didn't read this and I haven't bothered to look it up, but according to the radio this morning, Mr. Barnes narrowed his possible schools list to six: UNC, Duke, UCLA, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Iowa State. You'll notice there is no Minnesota on the list. Really a shame too. I was looking forward to stealing and Ice Cube lyric so I could say, "If you F with Barnes, he leaves scars." I guess I'll save that one.
Honorable sucking mention to Super Sioux Fan. Not only has she stopped posting or commenting on this blog, but here own wildly entertaining blog, Diary of a Sioux Fan, has not only been killed, but she deleted every post she ever made as well. You suck, SSF.